Roz Kaveney (rozk) wrote,
Roz Kaveney

I really ought to be working, but...

This is possibly the first chapter of a new RozK slash saga, so look away, those who don't do this stuff.

Street Smart

Usual disclaimers apply, not mine, never will be. All hail Joss and the Fox etc.


They sound like very large mosquitos, only when they hit you, it hurts a lot more than being bitten. Only it means wasp, so I guess that should be being stung.

I totally had the right of way and it's not like England - Italians drive on the same side of the road that we do - but bagsnatchers don't care. I ought to know the Italian for scofflaw by now, but I don't. So much easier to learn dead languages.

Come to that, I don't know the word for bagsnatcher either.

Only if he'd been a good bagsnatcher, he would have grabbed my bag off my shoulder and kept control of his Vespa, but that's my luck - I get the amateur so crap that he has to knock me down to stand a chance of getting it.

I tried to grab his wrist as he bent down, but he kicked me, sharply, in the back of my grazed knee and I thought better of it. After all, there wasn't anything in the bag that wasn't replaceable - a couple of lipsticks that I actually paid for, so no sentimental attachment and a mirror that was probably shattered by now. And some matches for lighting cute boy's cigarettes in a cool way.

Or maybe for setting fire to thing that need setting fire to.

I may be the only girl on the block without superpowers, but I still get to have moments. As well as grazed knees, sometimes.

And then someone is charging past me at high speed and shouting 'Hoy!' in a very American way.

There is the noise of a Vespa going over on its side and of someone getting bitch-slapped, once, twice.

Then Kennedy pulls me to my feet and hands me the bag. It doesn't tinkle when I shake it, so I guess the mirror is OK.

'Thanks,' I say.

She looks at me with those annoying eyes. She thinks she is so cool, she thinks she is Faith or Cordelia or something.

'Any time, sweet thing,' and she smirks. Very annoyingly.

She is so not macking on me, is she?

And how come she was there for a convenient retrieve?

Obviously that is a question that shows up in my eyes, because she goes 'I was just out for a walk, and I saw you down the street a ways.'

She was so clearly walking behind me checking my butt.

And why do I find that very interesting?

So I say, 'Coffee?' because that's always the easiest thing to say in Roma when there is nothing else springs to mind. Because coffee - round every corner, and on most corners as well.

Bet she's an espresso girl.

But I'm wrong, because she goes for that ristretto stuff that's like espresso's butch sister.

I feel so inadequate sipping my mocha, then wonder whether it's tactless to drink what Willow always orders.

'When did you two get into town?' I say.

Remind her she has a girlfriend, that's such a classy move Dawn.

'Oh,' says Kennedy. 'I flew in yesterday. Willow had to go check stuff out in London. I don't know whether she is even coming on to Rome.'

She looks at me sharply.

'So you don't have to hang with me out of politeness to her. Anymore.'

And she has absolutely down pat that little puppy quirk of the lower lip that Faith does when she wants to remind Buffy that she used to carry this amazing torch for her.

'That's not fair,' I say. 'We all like you for yourself. As well. Really we do.'

'That is so not true,' she says. 'When have you ever hung with me personally? Ever. You don't know the first thing about me.'

'Yes I do.'

'OK, what's my name?'

This is obviously a trick question but I say 'Kennedy' because the trick might be to avoid the obvious.

'Yes,'- she smiles a got-you smile-' but is that my first name or my second name?'


She has absolutely cornered me there.

'OK,' I say. 'You're Kennedy. You're a Slayer. You're what? Three years older than me. You date, dated, Willow for the last year. You're in Rome drinking coffee with me. And you hit a bagsnatcher for me, which was sweet. That's important stuff, but I don't know anything else.'

'After all,' I go on, ' you were dating Willow like five minutes after you hit town, so I never got the chance to hang before.'

'And also,' she says,' you never hung with the pair of us. Because I wasn't Saint Tara, and it wasn't their pure love that ended in death, that you so grooved on.'

She has obviously thought about this a lot, and she really isn't that wrong, if I'm honest about it.

'Willow used to miss you,' she said. 'I'd try and play chess with her, and she'd say I wasn't you. She thinks it's because she broke your arm and tried to turn you back into green energy.'

Willow isn't wrong, I guess. These are hard to get back from things.

'You should get over it,' Kennedy says. 'She really likes you. It's like you're her sister too. Plus, it would help her be close to Buffy again, maybe.'

She's being all noble, and that makes me really like her.

'How long are you in Rome for?', I say. 'Because we could totally hang. I mean, Buffy has this Immortal guy she's dating and Andrew is doing this weird trying to be straight James Bond fantasy thing, with these two girls who are obviously doing the wild thing behind his back. So I am bored.'

'Don't you have stuff to do?' Kennedy says. 'Research stuff?'

'Sure,' I say. 'But there is a limit to how much time I want to spend in the Vatican a day. They look at you strangely if they see you too often. And I sometimes worry that they know who I used to be. You weren't around when I was being chased by these Crusader guys. No fun. And they probably have friends in Rome. Spanish Inquisition and stuff.'

Kennedy looks at me. She is being annoying again.

'I'd protect you.'

Which she will, and it would be personal service stuff, not just Slayer/Scooby courtesy.

'If you don't mind being seen with a big old dyke,' she says, ignoring the obvious fact that I am six inches taller and probably a few pounds heavier.

'Not as straight as all that,' I say, lying in my teeth, or then again maybe not. 'After all, Saint Tara was my constant walking around buddy.'

'Knew that,' Kennedy says. Or does she say 'Knew it'?

Roman traffic is so noisy.
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